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Chase Claypool believes in himself.
So much so, in fact, that the Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver says he’s a “top-three receiver” in the league.
“I know for a fact I am not like the rest of the guys in the NFL,” Claypool said on the latest “I Am Athlete” podcast. “I know I’m a top-five receiver. I know I’m a top-three receiver.”
Claypool will have to prove that this fall, as his numbers from his first two seasons in the league don’t back that up.
Claypool had 860 receiving yards and two touchdowns with 59 receptions last season, his second in the league. He had one 100-yard game last season, and failed to bring in more than 41 receiving yards in the Steelers' final five games of the season.
His 860 yards were the 35th best in the league.
Though that doesn’t qualify him for “top-three” in the NFL, it’s definitely not fair to blame him for his low production. Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger struggled at the end of the season before he retired, and the Steelers ranked No. 23 in offensive yards per game and 21st in points per contest. They also finished better than just two teams in average yards per completion.
With the Steelers’ new offense this fall — JuJu Smith-Schuster left for the Kansas City Chiefs and a new quarterback will be leading the franchise — Claypool feels he’s ready to not only lead Pittsburgh's new offense, but the league.
“When I’m working, I’m like, ‘I’m a dog.’ I’m gonna dog people lined up across from me, too,” he said on the podcast. “And I’ve just got to bring that confidence and I’ve got to bring that spirit and I’ve just got to show people. And it’s going to happen.
“And we’re going to rewind this and we’re going to see this clip in a little bit and they’re going to be like, ‘Damn, he was right.’”